Proposed Changes to Catastrophic Impairment Definition – A Timeline

Winter 2010/11 – The Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario FSCO on his own initiative struck a committee made up of hand-picked medical experts with the request that they make recommendations to change the longstanding definition applied to injured car crash victims who sought the CAT impairment definition.

Spring 2011 – The Expert Panel released its report, which, if implemented, would dramatically restrict the number of people who would meet the test for CAT impairment. May 2011 was established as the deadline for any submissions to FSCO commenting on the Expert Panel’s report.

December 2011 – The Superintendent of FSCO prepared a private report to the Minister of Finance, outlining his recommended changes. The Minister did not release this report to the public or other legislators.

March 2012 – The government buries a short paragraph in the spring austerity budget promising to move forward with changes to the CAT impairment definition. The Superintendent’s report is still not released to the public.

April 2012 – Standing Committee struck to consult and consider auto insurance in Ontario, including the adequacy of the CAT impairment definition.

June 2012 – in response to growing public pressure, the Superintendent’s report is finally released – largely mirroring the recommendations from the Expert Panel’s report. Finance Minister Dwight Duncan promises further consultation, but the reality is that a change in the definition of CAT impairment is a regulatory change which can be made over the summer by the cabinet, as an order-in-council.

Andrew Murray is a personal injury lawyer at the London, Ontario law firm, Lerners LLP and practices plaintiff personal injury litigation. Andrew’s personal injury practice includes assisting people injured in motor vehicle accidents, accident benefits cases, catastrophic injuries, orthopaedic injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other injury cases. See Andrew’s professional biography for more information about his work in the area of plaintiff personal injury law or contact him at 519-640-6313 or by e-mail at amurray@lerners.ca.

The content contained in this blog is intended to provide information about the subject matter and is not intended as legal advice. If you would like further information or advice please contact the author.

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